Top 10 AI Job Interview Tips for 2022

By Mike Simpson

When you prepare for a job interview, meeting with a hiring manager is usually what you’ll have in mind. However, today, there’s a chance you’ll have a chat with a machine before you speak with a person. Say hello to the AI job interview.

The artificial intelligence job interview is relatively new on the job search scene, but it’s becoming popular with companies quickly. After all, it saves them time and money, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that more businesses are using it.

The thing is, if you have an AI interview on the horizon, you can’t prepare the same way as you would for a person. If you want to make sure you’ll be ready, here are our top 10 artificial intelligence interview tips (and more).

What Is AI?

Before we dig into the top AI job interview tips, let’s pause for a quick second and talk about what AI – or artificial intelligence – even is.

According to Merriam-Webster, artificial intelligence is “a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.” Generally, we refer to systems that imitate intelligent human behavior as AIs.

In the end, AIs are simply programs; they’re just designed to engage with you like a person. Usually, these systems aren’t perfect. Even with natural language processing – which, according to IBM, gives “computers the ability to understand text and spoken words in much the same way human beings can” – the experience usually feels a bit… off.

Additionally, AI can’t infer meanings in most cases. These systems may not be able to discern sarcasm, for example, making communication a bit trickier.

Still, many do a solid job of mimicking the human experience.

What Is an AI Job Interview?

An artificial intelligence job interview is a screening technique. Generally, it refers to a meeting that’s overseen by an AI.

The employer programs an artificial intelligence to ask questions and capture the answers provided by candidates. Along the way, the AI may analyze the broader experience, including the job seeker’s body language, cadence, and response quality.

Usually, AI interviews are more common for entry-level positions that companies fill frequently. For example, you’re more likely to encounter them for a retail cashier or call center representative role than a mid-level accounting position.

However, that doesn’t mean artificial intelligence job interviews can’t pop up anywhere. If a company has a large number of applicants and needs to identify top contenders efficiently, they might use it.

During an AI interview, the process isn’t wholly unlike what you’d get when meeting with a hiring manager. The AI asks a question, and you’ll provide a response. It’s a pretty classic approach. In some cases, the artificial intelligence even exudes a bit of personality, though this isn’t always the case.

Now, when it does happen, you’re not going to engage in a witty repartee as you might with a hiring manager. In the end, it’s still a machine, so there’s only so much you can do to develop any sense of rapport. But that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to it like it’s human. In fact, you usually should (more on that in a minute).

As you respond, the AI records and analyzes your answers. In most cases, it’s looking for certain keywords or other kinds of target information. It may also gauge your attitude through word choice, volume, cadence, eye contact, and body language.

MIKE'S TIP: In many cases, AIs can spot subtle movements better than people. As a result, it may be able to tell if you’re reading notes when you’re answering questions. If it’s designed to do that, reviewing notes could work against you, causing the AI to give you a lower score. So, stick with providing responses from memory just to be safe.

After analyzing your answers, the AI scores you. It then uses that score to determine where you fall among the other candidates.

What happens next depends on how the company wants to continue the process. The AI may generate a list of the top X number of candidates or might refer all candidates with a score above a certain point. In the end, performing as strongly as possible needs to be your goal, ensuring you remain at the top of the list.

Common AI Job Interview Mistakes

As with all kinds of interviews, it’s possible to make mistakes when speaking with an AI. One of the biggest is being too mechanical yourself. Remember, an AI assesses your body language, tone, cadence, and more. If you’re too rigid, it’s going to notice, and that could hurt your chances of moving forward.

Not treating the experience like an interview with a hiring manager is another huge misstep. While it might seem like an AI wouldn’t care if you interview in pajamas, that doesn’t mean you should do it. After all, a person may review the recordings. Plus, artificial intelligence can screen for all kinds of things, so there’s a chance it’s analyzing your attire.

Finally, joking and sarcasm shouldn’t be part of your artificial intelligence job interview. While having some personality is fine, there’s a good chance that the AI can’t tell that you aren’t being serious. If that’s the case, what you thought was a fun quip may cost you the job, all because the AI didn’t understand (and won’t give you a chance to explain).

Top 10 AI Job Interview Tips

1. Read the Fine Print

With an artificial intelligence interview, the company usually has to disclose the role AI plays in the equation. For example, they typically have to inform candidates if various kinds of AI analysis are used or if it’s just asking the questions and recording the responses.

By reading the fine print, you’ll know what role the artificial intelligence plays in the hiring process. That gives you an opportunity to customize your approach, ensuring you’ll come across well based on what’s being checked.

2. Have Small Talk with a Family Member or Friend First

One of the hardest parts of participating in an AI interview is the lack of small talk before digging into the questions. Usually, a little chitchat puts you at ease, allowing you to develop a bit of a connection with the hiring manager before getting into the nitty-gritty.

With an AI job interview, there isn’t any small talk to work out your nerves. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t mimic that part of the experience to put yourself at ease.

After getting everything ready for your AI job interview, but before you sign in, call a family member or friend for some faux small talk. Have them assume the role of interviewer, asking basic questions you’d usually encounter before jumping into the formal questions. In some cases, that bit of roleplay may be enough to calm your nerves a bit, making the upcoming AI interview feel a tad more natural.

3. Make Sure You’re Well Lit

During an artificial intelligence job interview, the system may analyze your facial expressions as you respond. If that’s part of the program, you may score poorly if the AI can’t see you clearly. It won’t be able to detect the movements it’s looking for, causing it to assume that you’re just blankly staring at the screen.

Usually, the easiest way to ensure you’re well lit is to use a combination approach. Turn on the main light in your room and open any curtains to allow natural light in. Add in some task lights for better coverage, or use a ring light to get even illumination.

4. Remove Images of People from Your Background

While AI is reasonably smart, it isn’t perfect. If you have portraits, figurines, or other items behind you that have faces, there’s a chance the AI is going to get confused.

In the end, it’s simply looking for face-like patterns in the broader image, so there’s a chance it’ll mistake anything else with a face for you. Even if it doesn’t, it may think that there’s a person standing over your shoulder the entire time. Depending on what it’s designed to factor into the scoring equation, that could cost you.

Before you jump into an artificial intelligence job interview, check your background for anything that looks like a face. If you find something, either cover it or remove it.

5. Look at Your Camera to Mimic Eye Contact

Since eye contact is always a big part of the interview equation, you want to mimic it, even when you’re speaking with an AI. For video an AI job interview, you need to look at your camera – not the screen – to create a sense of eye contact.

Don’t stare into the lens the entire time. Instead, look at the camera for about three seconds, then look away for a second or two before returning your gaze to the lens.

6. Choose a Time When You’re at Your Best

Many artificial intelligence job interviews let candidates participate any time they want. If that’s the case, choose a time of day (or night) when you’re the most energetic and focused. Whether that’s 8:00 am, 3:00 pm, midnight, or any other time doesn’t matter. If that’s when you feel the most capable, do it then.

7. Eliminate Filler or Tentative Words During Practice

With AI interviews, you’re usually going to encounter classic job interview questions, both of the straightforward and behavioral varieties. You’ve likely heard the questions you’re going to face before. After all, this kind of interview is more of a basic screener; it’s not where the hiring decision is officially made.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare your answers in advance. You want to make sure you can deliver a response smoothly and clearly. Not only does that make a better impression, but it also helps you avoid issues that could hurt your chances of moving forward.

For example, the AI may be designed to detect tentative language, such as responses starting with “I think” or “I believe I might.” Similarly, it might log every “um,” “like,” and “you know” to assess your communication skills.

By practicing, you can choose the right language and eliminate filler sounds or words. That way, you’ll have a higher chance of getting a solid score.

8. Be Mindful of Timers

Most AI interviews have time limits for your answers. You can’t simply continue on until you think you’re done. If you aren’t finished when time runs out, it just cuts you off, and that’s not ideal.

Before your interview, review any materials that give you insights about time limits. If you don’t see anything, consider reaching out to the company and asking. Then, when you practice your interview questions, time your responses to make sure they fit.

9. Tailor Your Answers

Using the Tailoring Method for an AI interview is essential. Ultimately, you still need to speak to the company’s needs when you respond, so it’s best to embrace that strategy even when you’re talking to an artificial intelligence.

Make sure you use the same language found in the job ad, too. That’s usually what the AI is programmed to find, so it’ll help you showcase yourself as a strong match.

10. Take Advantage of Retakes

In some cases, your artificial intelligence interview comes with an option you don’t get with hiring manager meetings: the ability to do a retake. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to answer the same question a hundred times over until it’s perfect. However, it’s smart to take advantage of it if you really stumble.

So, whether you trip over your words, get interrupted by a barking dog, or clearly fumble your response, use the retake. After all, it’s there, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of that once or twice along the way.

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, the 10 AI job interview tips above can help you shine during the hiring process. Use them all to your advantage, ensuring you stand out for all of the right reasons.

Good luck!

About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.